TRAVIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — A terrifying scene as four women in a boat teetered over the edge of a dam in Texas.
Callers to 911 reported the dangerous situation at Austin’s Longhorn Dam on the afternoon of June 10.
The four friends were in an electric rental boat when they got swept up in the current and carried to the edge of a dam — with a 36 foot drop just inches away. The spillway at Lady Bird Lake was open because of the deluge caused be recent rainfall.
The women were able to call the owner of the boat for help, but as he tried to rescue the group his boat got caught in the powerful current too. The owner was able able to attach a line to the women’s boat and hold them in place, but couldn’t pull them backward.
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) June 10, 2021
Dozens of Austin Fire and rescue crews raced to the dam as the current inched the boat further off the edge. Commander Joshua Todd, with Austin-Travis County EMS, explained, “Our main concern was, because it was resting so precariously on a very narrow piece of concrete, [that] any shift in the weight balance, or the flow of the water would essentially carry it over.”
A helicopter lowered life vests to the women.
Rescuers ultimately arrived in a bigger boat and were able to tie a tow line to the rental company boat that was holding the group. The two engines combined strength was enough to go against the current and pull the boat and the women to safety.
Officials said there is only solid concrete beneath the dam, so a fall would have been catastrophic. As it stands, all of the women walked away uninjured.